Psychologists are health professionals who can work in a range of areas such as clinical, neuropsychology, health, community, forensic, organisational, and sports and exercise psychology.
There are many different types of psychologists such as clinical, educational, counselling and developmental psychologists. The skills and roles of these and other psychologists are outlined on the Australian Psychological Society website to assist you to find the mental health professional most suited to your situation.
You don't need a referral from a doctor (GP) or psychiatrist to see a psychologist.
However, if you'd like to claim a Medicare rebate or utilise the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program, you will require a referral and a Mental Health Treatment Plan (MHTP) from your GP or psychiatrist.
Rebates are available for up to 6 individual support sessions, and a further 4 sessions if additional treatment is needed.
Note: until 31 December 2022, rebates are available for up to 20 individual support sessions.
Under a MHTP, you will also be eligible to claim up to 10 separate group therapy sessions within a calendar year. Discuss this with your GP or psychologist to learn more.
When seeing a psychologist under the ATAPS or MHTP schemes, some out-of-pocket expenses may apply. You can read more about this at the Australian Psychological Society.
If you have private health insurance and extras cover, and have not claimed a Medicare rebate, you may be able to make a claim with your health insurance provider. Contact your provider to learn more.
Note: if you do not have a GP referral or a MHTP, the full amount for your session(s) will need to be paid out-of-pocket.
If you're unsure of what might work for you, speaking to your a GP is a really good place to start. Learn more about the different types of health professionals and how they can help you.